Two Creative Cultures Brought Together In the World’s largest Captive Rainforest
Spirit of the Rainforest is a project that is a collaboration between Survival International, the the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, and The Eden Project. During May 2015, British Artist John Dyer and Amazonian Indian Artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá worked together in the largest captive rainforest on the planet at the Eden Project to produce a series of new paintings exploring the Spirit of the Rainforest from the Western and Amazonian cultural perspective. It was a world first artistic and cultural exchange. The new paintings created are based on the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and the artists’ experiences of their time spent in this unique environment. The plants at the Eden Project formed a natural source of reference for the artists while they used the biome as their art studio.
John Dyer painted the rainforest from his direct experience of travelling and living in the Amazon, the plants at Eden and the knowledge that Nixiwaka shared with him during the residency. Several large scale (1×1 meter) canvases were completed during the residency which will go on public display at The Eden project on October 17 until around Christmas 2015. The paintings are vibrant celebrations of the rainforest, packed with energy, life and colour.
Artist John Dyer
In 1989 British artist John Dyer explored the Amazon as a photographer for Thames TV. At that time an Amazonian Indian, Nixiwaka, was a small boy living with his tribe the Yawanawá in the Amazon Rainforest. 26 years later John and Nixiwaka met at the Eden Project. John Dyer’s Amazon experience turned him into an artist and painter and John discovered that one of Nixiwaka’s dreams is to paint.
Nixiwaka Yawanawá is a Yawanawá Indian from the Brazilian Amazon. He says: “Yawanawá translates as ‘The People of the Wild Boar’. This is because as a tribe, we are always together – when we hunt, and in life in general. We are a pack. I was born in Kaxinawa, the most sacred part of the Yawanawá lands, where my people originate from. Kaxinawa is where my grandfather and all our great chiefs are buried. We have lived on our land for centuries. Our way of life is developed from our ancestors. We live close to nature. We get our food, housing and virtually everything we need from our rainforests.”
The Eden Project
The Eden Project, an educational charity and social enterprise, creates gardens, exhibitions, art, events, experiences and projects that explore how people can work together and with nature towards a better future. The Eden Project is nestled in a huge crater in Cornwall, UK with massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity.
If you would like to be invited to this special exhibition please register your details with the gallery.
All of John Dyer’s paintings will be available to purchase online from the gallery in October but will not be available for delivery until January 2016 due to the Eden Project exhibition. If you are interested in purchasing a painting by Nixiwaka Yawanawá please contact the artist. Again the work isn’t available for delivery until January 2016.
View the paintings from the residency on John dyer’s website.
Art Competition for Children
Send them your best Rainforest inspired Art!
The Eden Project hopes that the paintings that John Dyer and Nixiwaka Yawanawá produced in their Rainforest Biome will help to inspire thousands of children across the world to get creative and connect with the rainforest.
Children aged up to 16 are invited to engage with this project by submitting their paintings and drawings on the theme of ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’.
Six winners will be chosen in each of the following four age groups:
5 and under
6–8 years old
9–12 years old
13–16 years old.
What they are looking for:
They want your very best artwork and you can paint, draw, collage, or create in any other way that you feel connects to the Spirit of the Rainforest. Read more about it and enter here: www.edenproject.com/spirit-of-the-rainforest
Jackson’s are pleased to be providing three easel painting sets as prizes.
“The rainforest is a vital part of our lives and our future. We don’t all realise this yet but the tribal people of the Amazon know it. By engaging children with the rainforest through art I hope it will build a lifelong concern and connection to the environment.” -John Dyer
“The first step is understanding and a desire to care. The Spirit of the Rainforest project will involve and inspire a new generation to connect to the Rainforest to do just that.” -The Eden Project